According to several Yemeni-based local newspapers, US Senator John McCain, who briefly visited Yemen earlier this week to offer his support to the coalition government and discuss political and security developments is rumored to have directly urged President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to facilitate the transfer of Jihadists to Syria.
As the Free Syrian Army is struggling to secure its advances against Syrian President Bashar al-Assas, whose lists of supporters while thin remains mighty in military might, Washington and its allies in the region are said to be looking at ways to swell the ranks of the opposition by allowing foreign fighters to enroll against Assad regime.
In a move which analysts have already qualified as dangerous given the repercussions a similar policy led to in the 1980s, when Jihadists where send to fight off Russian troops in Afghanistan, security experts are worry al-Qaeda will use this opportunity to increase its recruitment pool while offering precious ground experience to its militants, which experience would be use later on against Yemen central government.
A source told several newspapers, “Senator McCain’s visit was to drum up support for Jihadist groups fighting Bashar al-Assad regime.”
While the government has so far refused to comment on the issues, quite understandably since its military is still locked in an on-going military struggle against Islamic operatives in its southern provinces, all the while preparing for the return of some Gitmo terror prisoners.
Yemeni officials would have a difficult time reconciling the idea of Jihad in one place while fighting off the same rhetoric in its own backyard.
Senator John McCain has called for sending Patriot missiles to Syria. According to the Voice of Russia’s correspondent, one of the top foreign policy hawks has offered his view on resolving the Syrian crisis which has nothing to do with diplomatic efforts or attempts to establish a peaceful dialogue between the government and the opposition.
McCain’s statements came just weeks before an international conference on Syria in Geneva.
As if by coincidence, Syrian opposition representatives have suddenly refused to take part in peace talks.
This could hardly be accidental. Whatever the case, these kinds of announcements on the part of a high-ranking Washington official reduce all diplomatic efforts to zero.
Paul Salem of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a NPR interview that he is skeptical about the Geneva II Conference on Syria.
“The second conference will not help to resolve the crisis. Even the 10th won’t change anything. It will take years to sort this crisis out.
The Assad government has no intention of starting serious talks while the opposition is split and unprepared for compromise.
Our priority is to end the bloodshed, or if that is not possible, to reduce its scope and ease tension”.
The While House has issued no comment in connection with McCain’s statements. Washington’s policy regarding Syria will be made public during the Geneva conference in July.
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